I spotted this one at Library #3 and just had to have it, it just screamed at me to read it. 😛
Though I definitely need to find book 1 as well, as I want to know more about Julius and how he got to be a gladiator. Yep, I never read the first book, and while I feel it isn’t needed that much, as I could get the gist of the story within a few pages, I still want to check out the first book. Hopefully we will find out more about Julius, about his family. About how he made all these friends.
The book starts off in Rome, but we quickly head to England. Of course our band of idiots has no clue what is going on. Maybe one or two have an idea of what will happen, but most just think it will be a fun vacation. With fancy hotels and all that stuff. Yes, no clue why they would think that, as they are slaves, and that is not how slaves are treated.
I loved the depiction of England, how dreary, wet, cold, and gloomy it is. Which it is. But still it looked oh so funny to see people from Rome (warm, sunny) in England. And how they complained.
Of course the vacation isn’t that, they have to represent the Empire and show those Britons what they are made off. You might guess how it ends, I won’t spoil anything, but I think just from looking at the cover you can see it.
Julius was a great, brave character, though dear Lord, he was also a huge bonehead. At times I truly wondered if he ever thought about stuff. 😛 His ego was at least completely 100% there at all times. He was quite a funny character, and I was rooting for him to get his freedom back. He definitely deserved that.
Also I really loved his name. Just say the name out loud and you will see what I mean.
From his merry band of friends I have to say I liked Lucia the most. The mouse (sorry, lost his name) and the lion (also lost his name) the most annoying. Then again, not the first time a mouse character is enormously annoying.
Of course it isn’t all happiness and sunshine. Our group are still slaves, and are still getting shouted at, still have to do chores, workouts and much more. Plus the whole battle to death thing.
What happens later in the book? I loved it, and it really sets a great start for the next book in this series. I am quite curious to see how everything will end.
The book is peppered with illustrations, making a bit of graphic novel. I loved how, just like another book I read, it switches between letting the story talk, or the illustrations. The art style, well it fits perfect with the random, hilarious, silly stuff that is happening.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and I do hope I can find book 1 someday. I would recommend this one to everyone.